Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. –C.S.  Lewis


Do not languish in the
field hospital of your wounding
the fetid air choking
your willing lungs
but crawl until you can limp
limp until you can walk
walk until you can march

and march toward the staccato
cadence building, the trumpet
brightening your ear,
sounding then summoning.

 Tread lightly over earth
your courage cannot consecrate
the illusory loves that
entangled and diminished

let their dark blood blanket
that charnel ground their
flesh be carrion for those
too starved and fearful
to want better.

Leave them and march
forward, into the one battle
worthy of you

the inward reckoning with what
shackles your freeborn heart
what injures you and
others through you.

Be called to something finer.

Be called and remember —
when you tremble —
the invisible legion of
others who likewise advance
undaunted through the dark,
the fierce resolve beneath our fragile skins.

We are comrades
in open arms, and
each step forward an
honoring of our warrior spirits.

We call to ourselves, to each other.
We say,  Here is an earth worthy of us.
Here, this ground we hallow.

Here, our love;
here, our bravery.
And here, our gladness:
that we could live this way.



*Mark Isham,  On the Threshold of Liberty



  1. 1housemouse · · Reply



    1. Thank you. 🙂


  2. slukwago · · Reply

    You wrote this, Rafiki? It is as beautiful as it is powerful. Do what you can, as you can, stronger, we are all in it together. Thank you, as always


    1. The poem is mine; I can’t claim the bold, uplifting music, a piece I first heard 35 years ago and have never forgotten. Thanks for reading, Rafiki.


  3. powerful, Cate!
    could you see if the comment i made yesterday is in spam
    as many of the other comments i made elsewhere ended up, thanks 🙂


    1. I will. Thanks, David!


  4. touching!
    really hard to imagine being
    in that place forced to give
    one’s last full measure of devotion 🙂


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